Director’s Perspective: Success Amidst Challenges

After the first shoot weeks ago for segment one of Beyond Augustine, I was personally expecting a fairly painless and productive shoot, free of difficulties and disruptions.  However, the shooting for this segment proved to be quite the challenge compared to the first.

In any production, one thing you want plenty of with regard to the actual shoot is CONTROL.  Control over the lighting, the sound, the physical environment and even other factors like temperature and humidity can save a lot of trouble while on set.  This is why big-budget productions invest in renting sound stages as well as building their own sets.  However, with a zero-dollar budget film like this, we managed to have control over only one thing, which I will mention in a moment.

Zooming in to confirm focus

Not only did it rain off and on the week prior to this shoot, but the day of the shoot it rained torrentially for hours up to the very hour before we were scheduled to roll camera.  Incredibly, the rain let up from an hour before shoot time until the next morning, so we were able to shoot as scheduled.

However, a dry environment is not all we needed for a successful production.  A quiet and predictable environment is also ideal.  We quickly became too familiar with the sounds of cicadas and tree frogs who wanted to get their voices recorded along with Jesse’s.  And several people who drove by made it a point to honk their horns or yell loudly as they drove past the production.  Fortunately, we had to cut anytime a car passed the shoot anyway, so no one really interrupted the shooting, as hard as some may have tried.  On top of that, three or four trains passed very closely by, which gave us the excuse to take a break, but unfortunately also set us back 5-10 minutes at a time.

“Camera rolling!”  “Sound speeding!”  “Page 12, take 1.”  “Action!”

Lighting is the one thing that we actually have a decent amount of control over.  We chose to shoot Jesse’s narration segments at night so that we could have unchanging light sources (unlike daylight).  Thanks to Jesse owning a generator, we were not limited to shooting somewhere that not only had power outlets, but where we would also have needed permission to run 1,000 watt lights.  However, the generator temporarily threw a breaker and powered the lights down unexpectedly.  I won’t point the finger concerning whose fault that was, but it might have been someone in charge* who replugged in a light in without powering it off first.

With all of that to say, the shoot was a success.  The footage looks very good, and everyone on the shoot worked hard to make it run as smoothly as possible, given the difficulties that we faced.  We have only one more production date to complete principal shooting of Jesse’s narration content, but there is still much more work to do production wise, and then on to post-production where all the pieces should come together nicely, provided that I did my job on set.

Still frame taken straight from the raw footage

When Beyond Augustine is completed, I believe we will have produced a documentary that will not only appeal to the theologically astute viewer, but will hopefully give the “lay viewer” a thirst for the truth on this important subject.

– Joel C. Park  (Producer & Director)

* Ok, it was me. 🙂

3 Responses to “Director’s Perspective: Success Amidst Challenges”

  1. I’m getting excited! Looking forward to seeing and promoting the finished product!

  2. Looking very neat! what type of camera is used? I am looking forward to even seeing some previews.

  3. We are actually making some “commercials” for it that we will release in due time.

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